* food & water
* access to shower
* medical care
* dental care
* legal advice / support
* the list goes on...
Some things that increase safety on the street:
Don't take any disrespect off of anyone. Push back or walk away at the first insult. Otherwise, it escalates.
Try to stay clean and look middle class. Short hair and cleanliness can get you mistaken for a tourist. It helps.
Camping in a wooded area is a good thing. Don't sleep too close to housing. They will call the cops.
Try to not be a trouble-maker yourself. The cops are much less likely to hassle you if you are merely dirt poor and sleeping outside somewhere.
Pushing back is a fast way to get arrested. No one questions a cop tackling a "crazy homeless guy" who was having an altercation with a fine, upstanding citizen.
It's something I do a lot of. What you want is to avoid standing idly by while people slippery slope you into something super bad.
There was an incident at a library in Fresno where someone working for services sent their people to come "help" us and they were horribly disrespectful and I refused to answer their questions and called them on their rudeness. They went and complained to the librarians who basically sent them away.
After that, all library staff were vastly nicer to us.
Push back doesn't mean calling them names. It means calling out their socially unacceptable behavior.
I also sometimes refused to give my name to strangers who wanted to help and were inappropriately grilling me for information. I would point out that if I weren't homeless, they would never in a million years think it was okay to walk up to me and start peppering me with invasive questions.
If there is no reward, some work, you can be on your way.
An important concept here is your agency in interactions, dialog.
You do have control of your end of it, and that is a significant contributor to how it all goes. Put simply, there are a lot of options besides righteous indignation. Use them.
Doing that is not taking shit, more like managing it down and away.
Where power differentials are in play, this all matters. Peers, in that sense, allow for more.
These can be life saving when we are vulnerable and lacking resources, friends. Been there in my past. One time, it involved a gun, pointed right at me, loaded.
At that time, my agency, it's implications were never more clear.
The way I see it, being here to talk about it is a nice problem to have. Priorities. Sometimes they end up being really basic.
In my experience, that basic nature, personal agency --what is proper, what may be needed, what that all means, even just seeing the options possible, like all of them, or more than expected, is hard for people who have not had these kinds of experiences.
I eat low and don't feel hungry (although I don't suffer cold which drains energy fast)
I agree that it can be daunting but I think it's not the quantity it's the regularity of supplies.
This measurement is meaningless without calibrating for how dirty you were to start with. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you were mostly clean and presentable, wearing freshly cleaned clothes daily, only needing to wash off some sweat and skin oils.
A person living rough on the streets will probably be wearing dirty clothes for days or weeks, and constantly be exposed to the elements. The grime accumulates, and unless you've reproduced these conditions in your experiment, your figures are unrealistic.
A bit related too, if you're homeless, cut your hairs. You won't look homeless and you'll need less water :)